short eared owl - Thorpe Marshes

short eared owl - Thorpe Marshes

Sunday, 28 August 2011

Cromer to Cley with a Red Backed Shrike for lunch!

 I set off to Cromer arriving at around 8.30am to see around 10 other birders already standing with binoculars in hand.It soon came clear from the overcast conditions and lack of any sun that these birds were hiding up.I decided to walk through the woods and was joined by a few other birders who had came down from Birmingham & we begun scanning the tree tops.We didn't see nothing other then a Tit flock with a calling Treecreeper. Outside a flock of 6x Whimbrel flew overhead and 3x Wheatears were along the fence wires.Then after an hour or so i had a call from Matt who had arrived and said that the Bonelli`s had been spotted outside ,on the edge of the woods.I came to the woods edge opposite the play area (swings & slides) and then saw a few birders and Matt all pointing at some branches with a small Warbler on .It showed a very pale base, with white underparts and very plain looking face.A few chiffchaffs appeared too which helped with comparison.A number of people started to gather and discuss the bird. After ten minutes  the Western Bonelli`s Warbler (238) disappeared leaving behind a rather large crowd of birders happy faced.
Crowd gather
  Me and Matt stayed around for a bit and picked up a nice looking Lesser Whitethroat  before deciding to move up along the coast to Cley, stopping off at Walsey Hills for the Red-Backed Shrike.
Me and Matt arrived at Walsey Hills only to see a number of people from where we had just come from now walking with us round to back of the hill to see a rather young looking Red-Backed Shrike! It was sitting out among the bush tops giving nice views.We stayed and watched it as it went to ground to pick up different bugs & back to the bush top again. 
Red-Backed Shrike
  At Cley we made our way straight down to Pats Pool , once again bumping into more familiar faces!
Matt soon got on some Curlew Sandpipers and then after watching the 8x (wide awake) Spoonbills, i got the juv ,Red-Necked Phalarope over the back. Very active and busy, feeding in the shallow water.At this point  i picked up a Little Stint among some Dunlins and then a shout of  " Wood Sandpiper just in front of the Phalarope" come from a birder . I smiled to myself as at one point i had the Red-Necked Phalarope, Wood Sandpiper and Little Stint all in my scope, not a bad view! We managed to pick up a few Common Sandpipers,Ringed Plovers, Little Egrets among others before leaving.
Red-Necked Pharlarope

While driving home the day was finished off with hearing that West Ham had picked up 3 points away at Nottingham -this really had been a super day!
Happy Birding,

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